Redonk Nutshell: Two stories, two time periods, expertly interwoven to make an amazing and deliciously romantic (and raunchy) read
Official Synopsis: Regency London’s most celebrated, the Blackbird, was a woman before her time—uninhibited, financially independent, and free to live by her own rules. Schooled in the sensual arts by the one man she loved the most, she recorded every wicked detail in her diaries…When Boston museum curator Piper Chase-Pierpont unearths the Blackbird’s steamy memoirs, she’s aroused and challenged by what she finds. Could the courtesan’s diaries be used as a modern girl’s guide to finding love and empowerment? One curious curator—one very lucky man—are about to find out…
I hadn’t heard jack-squat about this book when The Book Pimp sent me an email with the list of her most recent acquisitions for the library. I’m honestly not even sure what made me decide to have her put this aside for me. I mean, the title…it has some seriously potential cheese waves. The cover is very pretty, but I had yet to lay my eyes on it so I had no way of knowing.
I picked up A Courtesan’s Guide to Getting Your Man after finishing Kate Noble’s Follow My Lead. I was coming down of a good-book high and feeling happ, so I figured it’d be safe to pick up a book I knew very little about. From the first page, I was screwed. And in a good way, a delicious way. I was hooked.
It makes sense to me, now, how two authors wrote this book. It’s the story of two women from two completely different time periods who wrestle with similar restrictions and desires. Our modern day woman, Piper, stumbles upon secret diaries written by Ophelia Harrington, a staunch abolitionist and historical figure. Literally. She trips over the woman’s trunk and out stumble three volumes of old and unseen diaries from a false-bottom. Ever the scientist and historian, Piper voraciously reads them up and discovers that Ophelia Harrington was, in fact, a celebrated courtesan in London before coming to America.
The novel artfully tangos between present and past, and we get to watch Piper go from sheltered and repressed museum curator to a woman empowered and full of bravery. She takes it upon herself to embody Ophelia’s life mantra, literally taking the steps Ophelia took two hundred years earlier when she decided to become a courtesan rather then be “sold” into a marriage she had no say in. Mind you, Piper doesn’t become a prostitute. Instead, she sets her sights on her man from the past, the one-who-got-away, who just so happens to have arrived back in Boston. HUZZAH.
I would be ruining it for you to go into any further detail, but know this. This book was epically raunchy and knee-meltingly romantic. Rare is the book that manages to be both ridiculously smutty AND mindbogglingly romantic. I’m floored, FLOORED I TELL YOU! that none of the other blogs I follow seem to have picked up this book. This was a FANTASTIC read, one that I’m adding to my personal library ASAP.
When you need book that will intrigue and capture you while making your toes curl and your heart pound, pick up A Courtesan’s Guide to Getting Your Man by Celeste Bradley & Susan Donovan. You won’t regret it.
Romance: 5/5 Raunch: 5/5